Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The November 2009 USCCB General Assembly

Wow and wowee.

What a remarkable turnaround at the USCCB under the leadership of Cardinal George. God Bless him.

They promised to set a new course of fidelity for Catholic education and They're creating a committee to govern the Catholic identity of Catholic schools and media.

I just have to link to the reaction of Michael Sean Winters at the bastion of dissent, the National Catholic Reporter. .

I know that some felt nothing but shock and dismay at Cardinal George’s announcement that “we have recently begun discussions on how we might strengthen our [the bishops’] relationship to Catholic universities, to media claiming to be a voice in the Church, and to organizations that direct various works under Catholic auspices.”...

There is another aspect of American culture that fits in here, namely, our distrust of inquisitorial practices. Cardinal George is a very bright man and he surely understands that the immediate affect of any kind of ecclesiastical condemnation is to vaunt the work or organization condemned to new found notoriety....

Our culture lionizes dissent, which is why those who exercise it often look foolish claiming the mantle of a prophet for their stance. But, the committees Cardinal George is setting up will need to see their mission more in the form of a discussion than of an investigation...They must tread carefully if they are not to see a project that could be promising go astray and cause more harm than good.

They distrust people lining up what they write beside the Catechism of the Catholic Church and asking them to explain themselves do they?

Cry us a river.

Further, I don't think Cardinal George is dumb enough to buy into Winters thesis that condemning dissent at the National Catholic Reporter or anywhere else is going to advance their mission under the auspices of Catholic. Think Call to Action, Future Church, Voice of the Faithful. Nor does he give a rat's patoot whether the culture lionizes dissent and calls people who call them on it "foolish".

The chickens have come home to roost.

They tightened up the Liturgy and smacked down an attempted hijack.

They issued a statement on Marriage.

Another on Contraception.

They proposed revisions to directives on nutrition and hydration. This directive would have kept Terri Schiavo alive. This is huge because going forward, killing people by starvation and withholding water is going to get a lot harder.

The current Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services says, “There should be a presumption in favor of providing nutrition and hydration to all patients, including patients who require medically assisted nutrition and hydration, as long as this is of sufficient benefit to outweigh the burdens involved to the patient.” Along with other changes, the proposed revision says, “As a general rule, there is an obligation to provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally. This obligation extends to patients in chronic conditions (e.g., the ‘persistent vegetative state’) who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care.”

They also reiterated that they not accept anything less than the Stupak Amendment and expect conscience protections.

They elected Bishop Robert Carlson to replace Cardinal George.

This is good news. He's strong, he's orthodox, he loves the poor and the people he serves, he loves the Deposit of Faith, he's a magnet for vocations and he's very warm.

Here's a thread with some of his works and some comments from the faithful.

The new head of the Pro-life Office is Cardinal Daniel Dinardo.

Cardinal DiNardo has agreed there is a need for health care reform in broad terms, but strongly emphasized the critical requirement for any such legislation to protect the unborn and the vulnerable.

"After receiving materials regarding the health care debate from the U.S. Bishops' Conference yesterday, I am compelled to urge the Catholic faithful to pray that Congress will act to insure that needed reform will truly protect the life, dignity and health care of all," Cardinal DiNardo said in a statement October 29. "We need reform that protects life, not threatens it."

The sentiments reflect those of Cardinal Rigali, who has recently drawn national attention by representing the U.S. bishops' basic pro-life requirements for health care reform.

Cardinal Rigali did a superb job in his tenure. I was apprehensive to lose him in this pivotal role at this critical time. I think we can breathe a sigh of relief:

Like his predecessor, DiNardo has a reputation for taking a stand for Catholic Church teaching on the sanctity of life.

At the "Red Mass" marking the beginning of the U.S. judicial year last month, Cardinal DiNardo admonished several members of the U.S. Supreme Court in attendance to give "radical support" for the unborn. "In some cases the clients are voiceless for they lack influence; in others they are literally voiceless, not yet with tongues and even without names, and require our most careful attention and radical support," he said.

I never thought we would see this kind of reform at the USCCB in our lifetime.

Thank you Lord for this encouraging development and answer to our prayers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now we need Cardinal O'Malley to step up to the plate. BC would be one place to start.